De Michelis to present Garbatella: A Garden City in Rome

Architectural historian, Antonelle De Michelis, will present Garbatella: A Garden City in Rome on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 6 p.m. in 225 Rapson Hall.

Lot3.Villino.JPGDeMichelis will address how Rome's politicians and planners sought to improve the quality of life for Italians, especially the working classes, while faced with economic and social challenges in the years following WWI. Unexpectedly, they introduced the utopian garden city model that originated in England in the late nineteenth century, transformed for a uniquely Roman context. Garbatella was one of three such garden suburbs constructed outside the Aurelian walls of Rome in the 1920s. While it reflected modern planning principles, its buildings established a dialogue with Rome's rich and varied architectural history. De Michelis will trace the evolution of Garbatella through the twentieth century, from ideal garden suburb to fascist enclave.

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, De Michelis has been living in Rome for over ten years. She has earned her degrees from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her research interests focus on papal urbanism of early sixteenth-century Rome, in particular the papacy of Paul III Farnese which stems from her doctoral thesis, and Garden City planning of the 1920s.

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